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Earth Day 2020: How To Get Involved At Home

Amidst the turmoil and confusion that is currently enveloping our world, April 22nd marks a very special and positive occasion in our calendars: Earth Day!

Established 50 years ago with the goal of encouraging education and actions towards global environmental issues, this is a day that everyone can be a part of – even from the comfort of your home.

What is Earth Day and why is it important?

Earth Day began back in 1970, when on April 22nd 20 million Americans took to the streets to protest the unsustainable treatment of the environment at the time. Their actions are said to have prompted the modern environmental movement, and led to milestone laws in the USA including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Other countries were soon influenced to adopt similar measures, evident of the event’s international impact.

22/04/1970, New York, USA: Fifth Avenue is filled with thousands of people just after the street was closed to motor traffic at noon on Earth Day.
Photo: © Bettmann/CORBIS

The international significance of Earth Day has only evolved since, as in 2016 the United Nations elected April 22nd as the date on which the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was signed.

Why do we need to protect our environment and combat climate change?

The organiser of the very first Earth Day in 1970, Denis Hayes, has summarised it best:

Despite that amazing success and decades of environmental progress, we find ourselves facing an even more dire, almost existential, set of global environmental challenges, from loss of biodiversity to climate change to plastic pollution, that call for action at all levels of government.

What is the theme for Earth Day 2020?

Each year, Earth Day comes with a theme – and this year that theme is climate action.

As of 2020, many experts suggest that climate change presents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity. Following the Paris Agreement of 2016, many nations have committed to taking greater steps towards tackling the climate crisis. But it is vital that we as individuals all do our bit to get involved as well.

20/09/2019, Schlossplatz, Erlangen: Global Climate Strike.
Photo:
Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Earth Day 2020 calls for all people to step up and unite in a call for greater global measures to protect our planet. It will also be the first ever Digital Earth Day, as organisers ask that people across the world in lockdown join the rally online.

For Earth Day 2020, we will build a new generation of environmentalist activists, engaging millions of people worldwide.


Kathleen Rogers, Earth Day Network president

What are we doing at Joshua James?

As a business, we recognise the need to step up and do our bit to protect the environment by acting as sustainably as we can.

We partner with ethical jewellery brands such as Nordgreen, ChloBo and Swarovski in order to bring you jewellery that is sustainably sourced and manufactured. You can read more about our commitments here.

In more recent news, we have partnered with Trees for the Future – a charitable organisation that works across 6 areas in Africa to tackle the climate crisis whilst improving the lives of impoverished families. Their innovative approach involves converting degraded farmland into lush forests, simultaneously training and empowering farmers and their families so that they are left with vital skills, jobs and sources of food.

Farmer sells his vegetable production at the local market as part of a forest garden project by Trees for the Future on November 09, 2018 in Kaffrine, Senegal.
Farmer sells his vegetable production at the local market as part of a forest garden project by Trees for the Future in Kaffrine, Senegal.
Photo: Xaume Olleros for Trees for the Future

In addition to the invaluable social impacts, the work carried out by TREES is immensely beneficial to the environment. Reforestation is vital in combatting climate change and promoting biodiversity, and overall in extending the earth’s lifespan.

When you place an order with us, we will match that with a donation to TREES that equates to one tree planted. That means more than 50 000 trees planted a year!

You can read more about our partnership with Trees for the Future here.

How to get involved for Earth Day 2020

Coronavirus may force us to keep our distance this April 22nd, but there are still plenty of Earth Day activities that you can do from home!

As we mentioned earlier, this will be the first ever Digital Earth Day. The power of the internet means that we can still connect and mobilise, just in a different way.

The organisers of Earth Day 2020 state that people can visit earthday.org on April 22nd to participate in this international movement: “We’re flooding the digital landscape with livestreamed discussions, a global digital surge, and 24 hours of actions that you can take, right now and from wherever you are.”

So there’s sure to be plenty to get involved with!

We’ve also put together a list of 10 simple ways for you to help the environment from home, not just on Earth Day, but as part of your everyday routine. You can still help people and the planet even when stuck in the house!

  1. Recycle all paper, plastic and glass: you could reduce your carbon footprint by more than 500 kilograms a year!
  2. Figure out your own personal impact on the planet and see how you could improve: you can calculate your carbon footprint here.
  3. Switch to paperless billing: you’ll be saving trees and reducing unnecessary waste.
  4. Take shorter showers: an average shower uses about 5 gallons of water per minute; if you shorten your shower by 2 minutes, you could cut your water use by 10 whole gallons.
  5. Unplug electronics when you’re done using them: as well as reducing your household’s carbon footprint, this could also save you a little money.
  6. Start composting: kitchen scraps can become valuable fertiliser for your garden.
  7. Save while you scroll: Ecosia is a search engine that finances tree planting programs through its search ad revenue, helping to reforest the planet. Especially helpful as we’re spending so much time online right now!
  8. Research the brands that you buy from: do your best to support ethical businesses that have the environment in mind.
  9. Educate yourself: test your knowledge with some Earth Day Quizzes and learn more about the planet. You can even get the whole family involved!
  10. Last but not least, plant a tree with Joshua James! Place an order with us and we commit to planting one tree. Remember, it’s important to still treat yourself during these trying times!

More than ever, it is vital that we all stick together. One person can do a lot, but as a collective, we can do so much more for the planet and for the good of all human beings! Let us know if you’ll be getting involved for Earth Day 2020, and if you have any extra tips for helping the environment from home. We’d love to hear them!

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